Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 4

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Page 58 of 87

tobaccoasia 59 images courtesy of PT. Mayangsari, a member of Hail & Cotton International Group Meanwhile, Reinder Hartmans, HCIG's coun- try manager Indonesia attached to PT. Mayangasa- ri, rated Indonesian Besuki NO cigar tobacco at 4 points on a scale from 1 to 5 when it comes to the European market. "But for the premium market I think it would rather be a 2 or 3, because this mar- ket segment prefers the Cuban seed varieties", he added. Comparing Hartmans' current rating to how Besuki would have been assessed 5 or even 10 years ago, Kristanto asserted there had been "little to no change". "Besuki is a long standing traditional vari- ety with its specific characteristics", he said. And in Hartmans' opinion, the main quality focus points for wrappers and binders are that they must be well fermented, of consistent taste, uniform ripe colour, elasticity, burning capacity and present as a full leaf without holes or blemishes. To produce such high-quality leaf, it all comes down to good agricultural practices (GAP). "HCIG deploys a large agronomy team that as- sists farmers throughout the crop growing season to ensure high-quality output, advicing growers from seed beds up to curing", Kristanto said. Fer- tilizer is dispensed free of charge, its composition based on the analysis of soil samples, so each farm receives a type of fertilizer with optimal nutrient balance. "We have a technician for every 20 farmers to ensure adequate attention is given to all", ex- plained Kristanto, adding that they actively moni- tor and advice on several key aspects such as seed- ling quality, seedling transplanting, field hygiene and crop diseases, leaf maturity for harvesting, and curing. Besides a large team of agronomists PT Mayansari/HCGI's Emmanuel Ardian Kristanto (left) and Reinder Hartmans Fermentation piles at PT. Mayangsari

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